Thursday, March 12, 2015

Looking for something to do this weekend?
TCO is excited to announce the third annual Ice Breaker Event at ALL our TCO locations. TCO Bryn Mawr on March 13th, TCO Reading on March 14th and TCO State College location on March 15th. This year renowned guide and fly designer, Blane Chocklett will be headlining our event to discuss musky strategies. Blane has created revolutionary patterns like the Gummy Minnow and Game Changer to name a few. Blane is also one of the most sought out musky guides in the country. Please join us for our 2015 Ice Breaker Event and see why Blane Chocklett is one of the hottest names in the Fly Fishing Industry. This event is free to the public.

*TCO State College only:
Bill Anderson will be signing copies of his new book “Trout Boomer and the Little Juniata River,” Bill is one of the founding members and current president of the Little Juniata River Association. We are proud to have Bill Anderson join us for the day.

Full Details Here: 

In the Warren Area this weekend?   Check out the Fly Fishing Film Tour at Allegheny River Outfitters.  Discounted tickets are now available for $25.00 for the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour if you email them at!
I'll also be there, and have some prints for sale.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Chile Video

Another "first person shooter" from TDF.  Hopefully it gives everyone an idea of what it is like to fish down there....awesome, but windy. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Trout Tails - February 20, 2015

One of the questions I often get asked when people find out I’m heading almost 7,000 miles south to fish in Tierra del Fuego is “is it really that much better than here” or “don’t they have good trout fishing closer to home”?  The short answer to both of those questions is a resounding “YES”.  But these are the types of questions you brush off because they are coming from those outside the eccentric world of fly fisherman, and outside “the know”.  They usually say something along the lines of “it’s their summer down there, right?”.  When you tell them it is, but that their idea of sunshine and sand covered beaches is a little off, as the temps are usually in the 50’s, maybe lower, the wind blows about 30 mph on a day with a “slight breeze”, and then there are the random rain, hail, and snow storms that can crop up at any time, and did I mention the wind?  You tell them that you will be doing all this while sleeping in a tent, showering about every 5th day, eating dried pasta or some other easy to preserve meal served “hot” off the single burner gas stove, and prepared in the back of the car to keep the wind from blowing the whole contraption over, they start to look at you with that look.  Those of you that fish for an addiction know the one.   That “you are out of your freaking mind” look.  

“But the fish are big right”?  “Yes, yes they are”.   And there is no one around, no modern day distractions, no light pollution, no noise pollution, peace, solitude, you get the idea.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the conveniences of modern life, but every once and a while, more often than not, I need to unplug.  John Gierach wrote that “ there’s an art to being unaccountable without ultimately ending up sleeping on a park bench.  It involves the rare ability to check out indefinitely while leaving open the very real likelihood that you’ll check back in at some point.  (Not forgetting that reentry can be a time-consuming shock to the system).”    And so it was that the opportunity presented itself again, to check out, and spend 25 days with my amigo Herb (I feel obligated to break into what little Spanish I know for this report) in one of the most beautiful places in the world, chasing brown trout where measuring tapes are useless and nets with scales serve a purpose, throwing foam hoppers that fish have never seen (real or alive), into a headwind that makes it an almost if not completely impossible task, on meandering spring creeks that look like there should be a 3-5lb brown trout in every lie (and there is).  

When the wind becomes too much to throw the hopper, usually about the time you realize you are having difficulty staying upright, it becomes time to switch to the bugger.  The results are the same, although there is something much more poetic about watching a fish that size rise slowly through the crystal clear water column until his nose just breaks the surface, sipping the hopper in with the surface disturbance of a minnow……..until you set the hook.  Then the water literally explodes.  Your rod bends with a force that you are sure will just snap it in half, but somehow it doesn’t.   You struggle to gain a couple feet of line, to keep him from pulling you beneath that undercut that he desperately wants, and is making good progress of getting back to.  Sometimes you win, and are rewarded by holding in your freezing wind burned hands, a beautiful golden brown that makes you start to reconsider the 3X you have been fishing.  Sometimes you lose, again, reconsidering the 3X.   As this repeats itself at every bend, you have long forgotten the looks of those crazy people who earlier were considering having you committed to some sort of mental institution, thinking to yourself that this is what keeps you out of such a place. 

After several weeks, coincidentally about the same time we had pretty much run out of food and water, and were both physically beaten down, we decided it was time to check back in…… least temporarily.  After several days of processing photos and a few hot meals and showers, I already find myself pouring over maps and satellite images.  There are several streams and a handful of lakes that have already made the list of “if we can find a way to get in there, looks like it could be a lot of fun”.    But until that time comes, I guess I’ll start processing the video.  Although I’m sure that is not going to help the reentry process much.  So for those who have not already just skipped over the paragraphs above, below are a few (we probably shot near a thousand) of the still photos from the 4 cameras and 5 video cameras we had in tow.  I will try to get the video up soon, but the process of compressing 10 hours of video into 10 minutes can be a bit time consuming.  As always, I hope you enjoy the photos.  Remember the old adage, “it’s better to die with fishing memories, than to live with fishing dreams”.  

Refueling!  Its hard to explain how big a deal this is.  The next closest place to get fuel is 5 hours away, in the wrong direction.


5lbs on a foam hopper.  What more could you want.


It's not big, at its deepest point it may be up to your chest, but it holds 5-8lb+ browns.....and lots of them.

Another sunset from our tents, overlooking the lake.


No matter how many times I see them, still find it wild to be chasing trout where there are flamingos around.

Andean Condor

Mi Amigo Alejandro

Lago Deseado

Little further south this time.  Yes that is Antarctica just to the south. 

RARE calm morning at Lago Fagnano.

Another gourmet meal in production.

Lago Fagnano
Last beer, trip over.    

Tres Amigos

Special thanks to Alejandro Cardenas and Estancia Cameron Lodge.  Also to Simms for making waders and coats that can stand up to the conditions down there, and Sage and Rio for making lines and rods that can do the same!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Trout Tails - January 10, 2015

Haven't been out a whole lot lately.  Brad and I did head up to NY/Erie during the blizzard in November.  Due to the feet of snow that had been dumped up there, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  However, low water and cold temps had all the creeks iced over, and the fishing was sloooooow.  We spent most of the time breaking ice to catch just a few fish.   After returning, we did hit the Little J a couple times and caught some nice browns, but I have been pretty much getting ready for Tierra Del Fuego.  I thought I would put up fly tying demo of one of my favorite patterns to use down there for big browns, the Morrish Mouse.  Nothing like watching an 8lb brown circle around and then annihilate a mouse pattern!  

Pattern: Morrish Mouse

Hook:  TMC 8089N  Size 2 or (similar bass hook)
Thread: Ultra Thread 140 Denier (black or brown)
Tail:  Rabbit strip (brown or natural 1/8" standard cut)
Back: Black Closed Cell Foam
Body: Deer Body Hair  Natural (spun)

Secure thread to back of hook shank to bend

Add a drop of Zap A Gap or super glue to the tie in point
Tie in a strip of rabbit a little longer than the hook shank, fibers facing to the back and wind the thread forward to about the hook point.

Cut a strip of closed cell foam about 1.5 times the length of the hook shank.  Trim the one end to a "V" shape.  I prefer thicker foam for added buoyancy, but standard thickness will work too.

Secure the foam to the hook shank.  

Cut a clump of deer hair, about the diameter of a pencil.  I prefer to stack the hair for a neater fly, but it is not really necessary.  Then trim the but ends even. 

Tie in the deer hair with two loose wraps and then pull tight and secure with several more wraps.  Due to the foam and thread at the tie in point, you will be unable to spin this section. 
Rotate the vise and repeat the last step, securing clump of deer hair to the bottom. 
Stroke the hair back and trim off an excess butt ends.  Make a few wraps in front of the trimmed but ends.
Trim another pencil sized section of deer hair and attach to hook with two loose wraps.

Pull the thread tight and spin the hair around the shank. 
Stroke the hair back and secure with a few more wraps.  Trim the butt ends. 
Continue the process of stacking, spinning, and trimming about 6 more times, until you reach a point just behind the eye of the hook.  Then wind the thread to the eye and back to build a tie in point for the head.
Part the hair on the top to the sides, and pull the foam over.

Secure the foam to the hook with several wraps.
Lift the foam and place several wraps in front.
Whip finish and cut off the thread.
Trim the head to just past the eye.
Rotate the fly and trim the bottom flat.
Finished Fly

Create your own infestation

Enjoy the results!